T Nation

42-Year Old Beginner

Hi All

I just turned 42 and find myself fat and unfit. I haven’t trained at all in around 10 years, an RL issue (non medical) stopped me training for a while but instead of getting back in to training when everything was sorted out I became lazy and sedentary.

Age: 42
Height 5’10
Weight 15.6 Stone

Turning 42 and looking into the mirror made me realise I need to do something about my current state of fitness, I am not looking to become a fitness model or star athlete, just want not to look like the rear end of a Hippo and that I can take my T shirt of without having to wear a plastic bag over my head :slight_smile:

I know the first thing to tackle is my current state of fat laden, greasy and extremely unhealthy eating, I would say my diet is the popular See Food and eat it diet.

A few things to note is due to my work I don’t have hours to spend working out, so looking for a routine that can be done 3 or 4 days a week in less than an hour max and preferably at home. I do have a garage gym that I can dust the cobwebs of. The Ultimate Minimalist Training routine looks interesting.

My gym consists of the following

Full Bench and Bar (160kg set)
Lat Pulldown Station
Pullup Station
Adjustable Dumbbells (2kg - 32kg)
16kg / 24kg Kettlebells

Did try a pullup for the first time in 10 years, really surprised I actually got my chin to the bar, maybe there is still hope after all (took me 2 hours to recover though, haha)

So looking for any advice and applicable training routines for a 42 year old guy that wants to get into any shape other than Doughnut shape.

Feel free to ask any relevant questions or even to poke at the oversized piñata. :smile:



How physical is your job? What time could you clear for training?

I think you should pick a small handful of measurable goals that really resonate with you and go for them. Something measurable and positive like:

  • specific physique goals (measurements, scale weight etc.
  • specific performance goals
  • specific goals around compliance to a plan (how often you successfully stick to the plan you’ve made)
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Hi @dagill2

Thanks for the reply.

My Job is only lightly physical, I am an engineer so spend a lot of time fixing stationary objects, although I do have to move items up to around 80kg its not enough to say that my job is physical. Although I do walk to work so I am walking a couple of miles a day as a start.

Based on my hours and commitments I could clear an hour 3 or 4 times a week.

I don’t have any performance goals at the moment but physique goals would be to get myself back around the 12 stone mark and trouser size 30 waist (uk) so that’s around 4 inches to lose from the waist area.



I’m from the UK as well, so no worries about the translation.

3-4 hours a week is more than enough time for training.

If it’s purely a physique change you’re looking for, especially a fat loss one, then diet will be king. I would recommend getting a solid diet plan together and start reading about training to find something that excites you. I personally think stuff like Dan John would fit the bill nicely, Never Let Go is a fantastic place to start.


The diet side I am not to worried about as longs as I can get myself back to eating decent I know what my body works well with, I was an amateur fighter in my 20s so my bf% was always in the single digits at that time.

Training however is a different story as I know I cannot train in the same manner as I used too, think my body would fall to pieces and its been a long time since I done any kind of strength training.

Biggest challenge - Motivation

Goals with numbers are pretty good for motivation. As is keeping a log on here.

In terms of training, if your goal is purely fat loss, I don’t think it’s that important how you train. As long as you don’t do anything too stupid.

This is good to get back in the swing of things…


Thanks for the reply, looks good just wish there was a sample workout to make sure i was getting the point, haha Sometimes I over read and complicate things.


Not to toot my own horn, but I train in a way that (most) people would consider highly unconventional, but it has been quite effective for maintaining fitness in a very busy / stressful time of life (I have an 8-month-old son), all with equipment that you have present and with most workouts < 30 minutes. Check out my log. Happy to answer questions.

EDIT: for what it’s worth, there are literally dozens if not hundreds of ways to achieve your goal, so most likely your success will be much less about the program you pick and more about consistently working out 3+ times per week for a prolonged period of time.

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It will work if basically just pick 5-6 exercises and follow the rep scheme.
If want to change angles every 2 weeks /do antagonist as recommended, then even better

You forgot to mention your log’s name:

“Deadlifts AND Deadlifts!”